Albuquerque Charter Vocational High School


The Reader's Digest article that put Albuquerque Charter Vocational High School in the national spotlight was titled "Fixing America's Schools."

Oddly enough, the national story prompted a local inquiry that has landed school founder Danny Moon -- and the charter school's governing board -- in hot water. Now the state wants the problems fixed. Evidence has surfaced that Moon misused school funds and property and directed staff to keep "ghost students" on attendance logs to collect tens of thousands of dollars that Charter Vocational High School and a sister school weren't entitled to...

The Albuquerque Charter Vocational High School is one of the state's most high-profile charter schools and has even been touted by Gov. Bill Richardson.

The Reader's Digest article in May called the school a place that "could transform America's classrooms."

The magazine praised Moon for getting the "hardest-to reach" students interested in learning.

Some of Moon's neighbors read the article with interest, especially the part that mentioned students had built sheds as part of their schoolwork.

Moon had a storage shed on the Paradise Hills lot where he was building a new house, the neighbors noticed. They contacted state Sen. Joe Carraro, R-Albuquerque, with their suspicions after also watching vehicles with government license plates going back and forth from the construction site…

Moon is superintendent of both schools at an annual salary of $175,000.

Investigators concluded Moon used a state vehicle and credit card for personal use and took home a student-built storage shed without paying for it…

"Upon information and belief," her letter stated, "Mr. Moon has intentionally caused or directed subordinate staff" to report students as enrolled even though they had dropped out or were no longer in class.

The inflated enrollment counts resulted in the schools collecting tens of thousands of dollars extra each semester. The state pays roughly $3,000 per student enrolled.

Garcia's letter also criticized the boards for permitting Moon to hire family members as contractors...

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FORMER SUPERINTENDENT TO GO TO TRIAL, February 7, 2010, KRQE News 13 (Albuquerque, N.M.)

Nearly five year's ago, Larry Barker exposed a charter school accused of cooking the books and cheating taxpayers. The former superintendent's racketeering and fraud trail will start on Monday...

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CHARTER SCHOOL FOUNDER DIES, April 8, 2010, Albuquerque Journal

Danny Moon, who founded Albuquerque Charter Vocational High School, died from pneumonia complications Monday,

Moon, 60, was facing 63 counts related to his alleged misuse of funds and credit cards at the school. The charges included racketeering, fraud over $20,000, fraudulent use of a credit card, conspiracy, making or permitting false public vouchers, and embezzlement.

An initial trial for Moon began in February, but a mistrial was declared after Moon's health degenerated, and he was unable to continue. He collapsed after the third day of the trial.

His wife and daughter also faced two counts each in the charter school case. District Attorney's Office spokesman Pat Davis said prosecutors have not decided whether to pursue those charges.

"They were very superficial co-conspirators in this matter," he said...


Anonymous said...

What a sad day it is to think he worked with so many kids when he was at ElDorado High School. I thought he was a sleeze then and now I am confirmed I was right!!! Good thing he is gone!!!!

Joseph Lopez said...

The issue to think about now that Danny is dead, is what happened to the money that he stole, and have they made it harder to steal in the same way by others? They decided not to pursue his wife and daughter, which I agree with, they really were minor co-conspirators.

However, I am told that the State paid for his defense, he used the same lawyer that Bill Richardson used in the Wen Ho Lee trial. Bill appointed Danny, and is now claiming thousands of pages of State documents as personal, allowing statutes of limitations to run out. Why did it take so long to try him, how could they justify spending State money to defend this man? The information was given to law enforcement by me in 2003. I was able to get a meeting with the ADA who now prosecutes government corruption cases in 2004; she took the same information I gave to Gil Lovato of the APS Police, and to the detectives at APD, that they ignored amd submitted no reports on contrary to felony reporting laws, amd ended up with 63 felony indictments. Robyn had more courage to do the right thing than APS Police and APD combined.

Anonymous said...

I use to be a student at ACVHS. Moon also had some classes, namely the CAD class, design structures for him. Looking back there were a lot of signs that pointed to something foul going on. I wonder how many teachers (if you could call them that) took a little something extra to stay silent.